‘Als alles zwijgt’ is a site-specific installation made during the residency of ‘De Arcade’, organised by Flujas Collectief.

This residency was made possible by Flujas Collectief, Abdij Ulingsheide, Emmaus-Feniks Tegelen, Museum van Bommel van Dam and the municipality of Venlo.

The week long residency took place in the Abbey Ulingsheide which is largely deserted. The work ‘Als alles zwijgt’ is my final outcome of the residency, and was presented during the one-day exhibition at the abbey. This residency also includes a research diary which can be seen on the Research Catalogue website (see link at the top of this page). And a live performance made together with Nanet Hazenbosch, Karlijn van Kruchten, Renée Verberne and Sarah Soethoudt. A performance in which we roam the halls of the Abbey and fill it with our voices.

Als alles zwijgt (Once everything is muted)
The last monks left the abbey twenty years ago. Anything left behind: was sold, relocated, or stolen. What remains are the objects no one wants. Nails in the walls of which the pictures they held, have been pulled. And a concrete imprint on the altar where once a book was carefully placed. The Abbey is surrounded by attributes from its past lives. But they are buried beneath threads of dust and spider webs.

During the residency, Madelief van de Beek researched the history of the Abbey. She was inspired by the traces of its previous residents. Her focus that week was the corridors on the second floor of the abbey: where the sleeping quarters were and the monks used to pray on prayer chairs. These particular prayer chairs, were foldable so that the monks could move them from their sleeping cells to the different chapels in the Abbey.

The second floor has been in disrepair for some time now and, is therefore irreversibly damaged. The monastery remains in utter silence since it has been largely deserted. This silence is vastly different from the chosen muteness (in Dutch: zwijgen) by the monks during the heyday of the Abbey.